August 21, 2009

New seminarians come from a variety of parishes

By Sean Gallagher

VINCENNES—Nine of the archdiocese’s 27 seminarians at the start of this academic year are new seminarians.

“It’s a pretty good year for us,” said Father Eric Johnson, archdiocesan vocations director.

But he is not just pleased with the relatively large number of new seminarians this year. Father Johnson also noted that some of them are coming from parishes that have not had seminarians for a long time, such as St. Joseph Parish in the Indianapolis West Deanery and St. Boniface Parish in Fulda in the Tell City Deanery.

“The guys around the archdiocese are starting to buy into a culture that encourages vocations,” Father Johnson said.

He hopes that having more parishes with seminarians might spur more men to discern a possible call to the priesthood.

“I honestly think that part of our success at, for instance, St. Barnabas or Our Lady of the Greenwood [parishes that have multiple seminarians] is rooted in the fact that there are seminarians there and have been for a while,” Father Johnson said. “That encourages and perpetuates that [culture].”

The seminarians come from 17 parishes across eight of the 11 deaneries in central and southern Indiana. Three parishes—Our Lady of the Greenwood Parish in Greenwood and St. Mary and St. Barnabas parishes, both in Indianapolis—have multiple seminarians.

Seminarian Michael Keucher, a member of St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Bloomington, said having seminarians from more parishes across the archdiocese encourages him.

“It certainly is a testament to the times we’re in because we have so many more guys who want to go out and to spread the faith and to do what they feel is their part in the Church,” he said. “I find it very refreshing.”

(To learn more about the archdiocese’s seminarians, log on to

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